When I was little, I remember doing a school project. My class took a cup of soil and a seed to grow a small plant inside. With proper water, nutrients, and sunlight, we would grow a brand new plant. A seed dies to itself so that a plant can be produced, a process called germination. From this “death” comes the new life of a plant.
Death. Nobody likes to talk about it. Yet, it is something everyone has in common. It is a hard reality to grip, but we will all die. Somehow, someway.
I have been gripped with that reality with the passing of my grandmother. She has suffered from Alzheimer’s for several years, climaxing to this week and her passing Sunday. This is the closest family member I have lost. There are so many emotions that I do not understand, so many memories I will cherish, and my heart is unsteady.
As you can understand, I have experienced a paradox of pain and joy. Pain, knowing that my beloved grandmother suffered from the effects of Sin; Pain because my children will not get to see or know their great-grandmother. I will never again see her on this earth.
But there is hope. I experience Joy, because I will never again see her in an imperfect state. Though disease won over her body, she trusted a The Healer who has conquered death. Joy arises because she is no longer in pain. You see, death gives way to life.
As my family mourns, I would ask that you join us in prayer over 3 things.
- Pray for travel/funeral arrangements made this week. My immediate family will be traveling to Missouri and back over the course of 3-4 days. It is an exhausting 16 hour drive one-way.
- Pray for my family as we both mourn and rejoice in her passing. Coping with a death is never easy. She leaves behind a faithful husband of over 50 years, a brother, two children, multiple grandchildren, and many others who will remember her life.
- Pray for others in your community that are suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer’s. This is an ugly, morbid disease that tears loved ones. Pray and support those who have a terminal illness, cancer, or other diseases. Do not merely support them with your words (while these are good); empathize with them. Literally place yourself in their position and show compassion to them.
With all this in mind, remember that death gives way to life. Life is a gracious gift. Do not take it for granted. Through death of a loved one, community comes together to celebrate life and grow even stronger. Life comes from our mourning.
Ecclesiastes 7:1-3A good name is better than fine perfume,and the day of one’s death than the day of one’s birth.It is better to go to a house of mourningthan to go to a house of feasting,since that is the end of all mankind,and the living should take it to heart.Grief is better than laughter,for when a face is sad, a heart may be glad.